Not sure how I missed posting this back in December when I posted it to the main Encyclopedia page, but here we are... My review of last year's TV special; click through for the image gallery.
A pair of jewels hold the secret to an even greater treasure, but there are so many obstacles in Lupin's way. The smallest one is Maki, a precocious fourteen year old girl who wants Lupin to teach her to be a thief. But what is her tie to the treasure and the mysterious girl Misa, a girl who cannot die? The secrets behind the treasure reach back even into Lupin's past; will the Blood Seal be opened?!
I had planned on writing up a review at the midpoint of the series, but episode twelve of Macross 7 ended on a decent cliffhanger to merit a "quarter way there" review. Over the years, I had read mixed reviews of this particular entry in the Macross universe; no one seemed to particularly like it or hate it. However, I was always curious to see how it would strike me.
A Japanese cultural treasure has recently been discovered in a former Nazi sanatorium. While it is quite valuable, Lupin knows its true worth lies in being part of a key to lead to an even greater treasure. With Zenigata hot on his heels, a mysterious masked man named Morgana and his band of ninjas steal it, also killing Zenigata in the process. The race to the treasure is on; will Morgana and his ninjas reach it before Lupin? And why is this mysterious female ninja and her trusty dog interested in the treasure? Avenge the Old Man, Lupin!
Perhaps if more afternoon specials featured such wonderfully choreographed kung fu sequences, the message about the dangers of drug use would have been heeded more. What kid would want their kung fu to suffer as much as Tie Qiao San's did? Some spear wielding ruffian will just march right into your town, humiliate you, and kill off your students. So, kids, drugs are bad, but films like Opium and the Kung Fu Master are good and show off why people still talk about the Shaw Brothers to this day. This is easily a worthy addition to a kung fu fans library.
Have fallen behind in keeping things here up to date. So many entries that need writing... For now, I will start with posting about my reviews for the first two Shaw Brothers DVDs coming out in the US.
I am finally starting a project I have been meaning to do for some time. Over time, I've blogged in various places -- LiveJournal, the AnimeOnDVD.com forums, etc. Now that I have my own permanent blogging space, I've wanted to pull all those posts and place them under this one location. I'll post them under their original dates and times, but occasionally, I'll bubble up ones under a "Reflections" post, either as a full repost or just linking to them.
Inu Yasha: The Final Act Episode 23 Full Review
The good news is that this episode brings the entire main cast together for the final battle. The bad news is that this could have been done in five minutes; this is easily an episode you can skip, a shame since the plot should be white hot right now with the audience hanging on every second.
Inu Yasha: The Final Act Episode 23 Full Review
The overall plot for this episode was predictable as ever, but it is the choices Miroku and Sango are forced to make that salvage it. It is one of the few "adult" decisions the series has fostered upon its protagonists; pity it waited until the very end to write a good, mature story for any of the characters.
Inu Yasha: The Final Act Episode 22 Full Review
While Sesshomaru fans will love the time given to him in this episode, it is the brief moment where Miroku decides to leave Sango that has any real emotional impact. The end is looming, but the story is doing little else to build a sense of anticipation and excitement for the final confrontation.
Inu Yasha: The Final Act Episode 21 Full Review
This is it; the final sprint to the end of the series has begun. The final obstacles to overcome are in place, and it is now up to our heroes to overcome them before facing the final trial. Not much actually happens in this episode, but it can be given some leeway as it is setting up the final arc. Let's hope the series goes out with some form of a bang.
Inu Yasha: The Final Act Episode 20 Full Review
This episode managed to do so much of what I have wanted to see the series do from the start. Our heroes worked together as a team to fight Naraku and made intelligent, quick decisions on the battlefield. It was a fight that kept you glued to the screen. However, it still refuses to make the difficult decision and let a major character die. You do not just cheat death with this gimmick; you cheat the audience out of a genuine emotional connection with your characters. Still, the episode did so much right that it outweighs this gripe. This is one of the few episodes of the season worth watching.
Inu Yasha: The Final Act Episode 19 Full Review
While the humor at the beginning fell flat, the remainder of the episode finally provides material to leave the audience anticipating what comes next. Miroku is close to death from two different sources, and Kohaku's body and soul are falling towards salvation or damnation. Both outcomes are predictable, but this episode provides an interesting story that makes you want to see how it plays out.
Inu Yasha: The Final Act Episode 18 Full Review
While the plot does not advance, the relationship between Kagome and Inu Yasha finally grows beyond furtive glances and stray thoughts. Both know what their hearts want though they still have yet to give it voice. After so much, it is difficult to be teased yet again, but it was an entertaining, if not predictable, diversion from chasing Naraku.